Orion Sidles Westward, Portending Spring, as Moon's Shy Crescent Hovers
It might not feel like it on parts of Turtle Island, but spring is indeed just around the corner. And those not feeling the season’s approach need look no further than Orion, as the constellation exits northern skies.
“All the stars and constellations shift westward as the seasons pass, and they also move westward in the course of a single night. And Orion is no exception,” Earthsky.org tells us.
“Exactly when Orion will disappear from the evening sky—into the sunset—depends on your latitude,” the astronomy site said recently. “For the central U.S., Orion is lost in the sun’s glare by early to mid-May (depending on how carefully you look for it). And for all of us in the U.S., Orion is gone by the time of the summer solstice in June.”
The stars shift throughout the year because of Mother Earth’s orbit around the sun, of course, which puts the sun between our planet and Orion at the same time each year, Earthsky.org explains. To take note of this phenomenon, Earthsky.org said, watch the sky at the same time every night.
While you’re at it, take a gander at the usual breathtaking sights this month, most notably the slender, vulnerable crescent moon hovering shyly above the western horizon on March 1, Earthsky.org says. At just four percent illumination, this smiling lunar sight will be delicate indeed.
On Sunday March 2 the moon will glimmer slightly more, and on both nights, Jupiter will be on hand to set a completely different tone as it blazes high in the sky, Earthsky.org said. The solar system’s largest planet is spending 2014 smack in the middle of Gemini, the twins, says Space.com.
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